MANILA, Philippines - Long-time import Jang Bualee finally hit paydirt as Sandugo-San Sebastian overwhelmed Cagayan-Perpetual in straight sets, 25-18, 25-22, 25-16, to sweep their way to the Shakey’s V-League Season 9 Open crown last night at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium.
Bualee, plying her trade in the country for the last seven years but without a title until now, punched in 14 points to lead the Lady Stags to the title-clincher after struggling with a 18-25, 29-27, 14-25, 25-13, 15-7 escape act in Game One.
"I'm happy for Jang, it's her first time to win a championship here," said coach Roger Gorayeb in Filipino. "There are those saying she's a jinx, having not won a championship prior to this, but that's not true since she’s been leading us to the finals before."
Bualee, the tournament's best scorer, was adjudged finals MVP as she made good on her promise to win one for the Lady Stags.
"I'm never discouraged by the previous setbacks," said the Thai ace.
The Lady Stags had a lot of heroines in that title clincher – Thai Utaiwan Kaensing (12), skipper Suzanne Roces (12), Nene Bautista (11), Angela Benting (8) and Rhea Dimaculangan (5), who all played solid.
"I'm confident we can make it," said Gorayeb in as his orange-clad wards and supporters whooped it up to savor their triumph in the league sponsored by Shakey's.
"This year was the first time we had a very supportive sponsor so we're very inspired," he added.
Gorayeb achieved a personal milestone, pulling off a rare two-title romp in a year, having steered Ateneo to the First Conference plum last summer in the league sponsored by Shakey's Pizza and backed by Mikasa and Accel.
Honey Rose Tubino led the way for the Rising Suns with 10 hits.
Deposed champion Army earlier swamped Ateneo, 25-17, 25-10, 25-18, to cop the bronze medal via superior quotient.